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John stood upon the doorstep of his speak to Lucy which she thought you mother's cottage until he saw the lightex- wished for." tinguished in Lucy's room. Then, softly “God bless her !” said John, with pressing the latch, and gently pushing fervency. the door ajar, he went in, and was walk- “I have been watching you through ing on tiptoe across the narrow kitchen the window all the livelong night," confloor, towards the stairs that led to his tinued Mrs. Dashleigh. "I haven't had attic, when he heard his mother's voice my eyes off from you since you first calling to him in a subdued but distinct went out till you came to the door again. tone. He turned and went to the door I saw you sitting on the bench with of her little bedroom. She was in bed, Lucy, in the shadow, and though I leaning on her elbow; while little Ellen couldn't see you then so plain, I guessed slept soundly by her side, with the you'd been successful. So I went to moonlight shining in upon her pretty bed, but still kept peeping through the face.
window; but when, after she went in, “ I have disturbed you, I'm afraid, you stayed in the yard, walking about mother,” said John.
so like a distracted person, I feared all “No, my son, I have not yet been had gone wrong." asleep, to-night," said Mrs. Dashleigh, “No, mother,” cried John, gaily; and then, in a moment after, she asked, “all is right; at least,” said he correct“What does Lucy say?"
ing himself, “all but getting Uncle “ Mother!” cried John, in surprise. Starr's consent; that yet remains to be
“ Did you think, my darling, I done." had not guessed your secret ?" said " Just leave that matter to your aunt the widow. Then there was a pause,
Betsy,” said his mother. • She can while the kitchen clock ticked loudly. bring it about, she says; though I don't ** She is mine, mother,” said John, at well see how. But now kiss me, and last. “Thank God!"
run to bed. You'll not feel like haying “ Thank God," repeated the widow, it to-morrow, poor boy." suddenly lying down with her face upon "Humph!" said John, shaking himthe pillow. Poor woman; the instinct self; “why, mother, I could pitch a of a mother's heart had revealed to her ton of hay over the big beam in five that John was loving his fair cousin so minutes, and not feel it! I'm as strong well that his life's happiness was staked as an ox. Never fear that I shan't do upon the issue. She had divined his a good day's work to-morrow. A light resolution to leave his home and seek in heart makes light labor.” absence to conquer his passion if he And, in point of fact, when the sun should fail to win Lucy's love.
went down after his next rising, John " Then you know all, mother ?" asked had performed such wonders in the John.
hayfield, that to this day old Tite re"I knew that you loved Lucy,” re- counts them by way of illustrating his plied the widow, looking up.
favorite theory of the degeneracy of the * And aunt Betsy?"
later generation; until at last the story She went home alone to-might on has grown so marvellous as to be bepurpose to give you the opportunity to yond sober belief.
(To be continued.)
THE LATE EMPEROR OF RUSSIA.
Nicholas affords a fit occasion for Prussia, sister of the present king. placing on record some memorials of his This union proved singularly happy. life, with such reflections as may be His wife was a woman of admirable consuggested by an impartial survey of his sistency of character, remarkable for the career.
modesty of her deportment, her mild Nicholas was born in the year 1796. and affectionate disposition, and her deHis birth took place at Gatshina, an cided domestic tastes. From the period Imperial country-seat about thirty miles of his marriage, Nicholas led the life of from St. Petersburg. He was the a quiet private citizen, entering, with third son of the Emperor Paul I. His keen zest, into the pleasures of his fireelder brothers, Alexander and Constan- side, and devoting himself to the haptine, were educated under the eye of piness of his family, his mother, and a the Empress-grandmother, Catharine, few intimate friends and favorites, to according to the French system in whom he was greatly attached. He vogue during the latter part of the found employment for his time in the culeighteenth century. Nicholas and his tivation of his talent for drawing and younger brother, Michael, remained in painting, and in military exercises with charge of their mother, a princess of his regiments of guards. Würtemberg. She was a woman of In 1823, his brother Constantine, the great purity of mind, of just and ele- heir-apparent to the crown, resigned vated sentiments, and of warm domestic his claims to the succession, and Nichoaffections. Both of the brothers were las took his seat at the cabinet counchildren at the time of the terrible cils, which were held, for the most part, catastrophe, in which the life of their under the direction of Count Araktfather was sacrificed. They could only sheff, whom Alexander, in the last remember him by the acts of paternal years of his reign, had entrusted with fondness which they were not too young almost unlimited power. The Count to experience.
was of a haughty and domineering temAfter the accession of Alexander I. per, violent in his prejudices, repulsive to the throne, the Empress-mother con- in his manners, and accustomed to tinued to devote herself, with consci- treat almost every one with a certain entious fidelity, to the education of her degree of contempt, not even always children. To her example and influ- excepting the young Imperial councilor. ence, the Emperor Nicholas was doubt- The presence of Nicholas at the meetless greatly indebted for his strong ings of the cabinet was, indeed. a mere religious convictions, his masculine formality. At that time, he had given sense of honor, and the prevailing no promise of his future greatness, nor earnestness of his character. Among was the vigor of his character sushis early instructors, the most prominent pected even by his most familiar was Storch, the celebrated writer on friends. He was regarded by the court, Political Economy, whom Nicholas was and by the public in general, as a accustomed to refer to in after life with man of ordinary stamp, without any emphatic gratitude and commendation. presage of the qualities which subThe imperial pupil possessed a ready sequently ripened in the energetic, and tenacious memory, and uncommon impulsive, and persistent Czar. Not quickness of perception; but the tenden- that he ever assumed the mask of cy of his intellect was more in the direc- the hypocrite to conceal his natural ention of the military sciences, engineering, dowments. Whatever may have been and fortification, than of literature. his faults, no one could justly charge After the overthrow of Bonaparte, the him with insincerity. Both in his pubtwo brothers traveled over Europe, lic and private relations, and to the visiting England and the most cele- latest moment of his life, his open and inbrated capitals on the Continent. One genuous disposition was free from every of the Imperial party on this journey, stain of duplicity. The germs of the was the well-known Prince Pashkie- eminence which he attained as soverwitch, at that time a Lieutenant-Gen- eign of a vast empire were latent in his eral in the Russian service. In 1817, organization. They were quickened
into life, and luxuriantly developed signation, and to relinquish forever the by his accession to power, and by the hope of wearing the Russian crown. electric influence of mighty events. His better genius at length prevailed,
In the autumn of 1825, Alexander and he sent his final decision to St. went to Taganrog, a port on the sea of Petersburg, with his oath of allegiance Azoff, for the benefit of his own declin- to his brother Nicholas. Previously, ing health, and that of his wife the Em- however, in accordance with a senatorial press Elizabeth. His condition was ukase, the oath of allegiance to Constansoon aggravated by an attack of the tine had been taken by the authorities Crimean fever, and, after a short ill- in St. Petersburg, and in other parts of ness, he breathed his last. During the Empire. the various stages of his malady-as no The discontented spirits in the capital, telegraph of any kind had then been who had been seeking the opportunity introduced into Russia-couriers were for an outbreak, endeavored to take addispatched at least once a day from vantage of the occasion for the furtherTaganrog to St. Petersburg, with ance of their schemes. The mass of bulletins from the physicians, an- the people and of the soldiers were nouncing the state of the Emperor's thrown into a state of dismal perplexity. health. About twelve hours before Nicholas was represented as a usurper. his death, a remarkable ameliora- Public feeling was excited against him, tion in his disease was apparent, and although the conspiracy, in fact, was dithe intelligence was immediately an- rected, not against his person, but against nounced to the Imperial family. As the principle of autocracy. The insursoon as it reached the capital, a thanks- rection broke out on the very day that giving service was ordered in the chapel was appointed for taking the oath of of the palace, at which the Empress- allegiance to the new Emperor. It was mother, Nicholas, the rest of the family, headed by several officers of the Guards, and a few of the most intimate attend- whose influence with the soldiery gained ants on the Court, were present. On them over to the movement. The dethis occasion, Nicholas, for the first tails of this unfortunate enterprise are time probably, exhibited that devotion generally familiar to the public; but to his family
and his country, and those the following incident has never before energetic traits of character, which had appeared in print. hitherto escaped even the watchful eye The rendezvous of the Guards for of his fond mother.
paying their salute to Nicholas, on his acScarcely had the service begun, when cession to the Crown, was on the immense another courier arrived with the tidings square before the Imperial Palace. It of the Emperor's death. The dispatch, had been already rumored that some of whose contents were anticipated by the the regiments in the barracks had deominous black seal, was handed at once termined not to take the oath. The to Nicholas. He stepped to the priest, people were roused to a high pitch and the Te Deum was interrupted. of excitement in regard to the alleged The Empress-mother, who was seated usurpation, and began to gather in dark in a chair near the altar, understood the and threatening groups. The staff of meaning of the interruption, and fainted the Emperor, with his aides-de-camp, on the spot. Restored to conscious- many of whom commanded different ness, she exclaimed, “ Poor Russia," regiments, went to the barracks to sumprobably distrusting the good faith of mon the soldiers to the rendezvous. NiConstantine's resignation, and dreading cholas, accompanied only by a single a bloody strife between the brothers, person, the Baron Dellingshausen, a capwith the inevitable consequence of tain in the guards, appeared on the pericivil war. Nicholas instantly beckoned style of the palace, to meet the people. to the priest, and ordering him to bring The cry tumultuously arose from the the Gospel and the Cross before his crowd—“You are not the lawful Czar; mother, immediately took the oath of you ought not to wrong your brother!" allegiance to his elder brother, then re- Nicholas stood calmly before the frantio siding in Warsaw. The mournful news multitude, and attempted to give a true was directly forwarded from Taganrog explanation of the case. Different bat
Its reception placed talions, chiefly composed of the conhim in a painful dilemma. For nearly spirators, already stood on the opposite · two days he hesitated to confirm his re- side, shouting the name of Constantino
and of “ Constitution," which, following the instructions of the officer, they believed to be the name of his wife. One of the generals, Baron Fredericks, who commanded a regiment of the Emperor's body-guard, had been wounded at the barracks. The colonel commanding under him, a Swiss, named Stuerler, was killed on the spot, by a stroke of the sword in the hands of Prince ShepineRostoffsky, a captain of a company, and one of the leading conspirators. The general was brought into the palace senseless, with the gaping wound in his throat, and carried before the Emperor. At the same moment a company of the regiment of Preobrajensky, led by captain Nassacken, marched rapidly towards the peristyle, halted at the distance of some thirty yards, and loaded their pieces at the command of the officer. For Nicholas, it was a moment of terrible suspense.
He could not avoid the presumption that the soldiers before him were a band of armed conspirators. Turning quickly to Dellingshausen, he said, " I remain where I am. Do you go into the palace, and tell the Empress to conceal the hereditary Grand Duke.” In the midst of personal danger, it was his principal care to preserve the life of the legitimate and direct successor to the throne. Dellingshausen went into the palace as directed, while the Czar remained alone to face the gathering tempest. The company of soldiers, after loading their pieces, resumed their precipitate march, penetrated the crowd, cleared the space before the peristyle, formed in a square, and turned their bayonets against the multitude. It was only then that Nicholas became aware of the friendly intention of the soldiers, who were the first to hasten to his rescue from the infuriated populace.
Upon the arrival of the loyal regiments at the Palace, they drew up in line, opposite the insurgents—the Czar, was again surrounded by a numerous staff, including all the generals in command, and the Grand Duke Michael, galloped off to the revolted troops, to demand an explanation of their conduct. The grenadiers of the body-guard, supposed to be the most determined in their disaffection, on being asked, “What are you doing, boys ?" presented arms, saying, “We revolt, your Imperial Highness.” Such were the elements at work.
The movement was soon suppressed. In justice to Nicholas, it must be said, that, he endeavored to avoid bloodshed, to the last extremity. He first ordered the artillery to fire over the heads of the the masses. This attempt proved ineffectual and he was vehemently urged by his brother, and the generals, to hesitate no longer. A second volley was fired killing and wounding about four hundred of the insurgents. They now scattered in every direction. They were not hotly pursued, and succeeded in making their escape. At a subsequent period, the principal leaders of the revolt, were brought to trial, before a special board of military Commissioners, and the different sentences, pronounced by them, were not set aside by the Emperor.
The accession of Nicholas to power, was, accordingly, by a thorny and bloodstained path. But from the very commencement of his reign, he resolved to present an example of governing the country by absolute will, without the ceremony of a constitution. His faith in the principle of autocracy, was boundless. He aimed at once to efface from the memory of his people, the tragic circumstance which inaugurated his reign. Every branch of the government was burdened with colossal abuses. Some of these abuses were inherent in the principle of despotism, but the greater number of them were the effect of maladministration. The youthful Czar engaged in the work of reform, with energy and self-devotion. For months he labored with such intensity, as to impair his eye-sight. He endeavored to surround himself with new men-men, who were distinguished in public opinion, as well as at court, for their talents and integrity. The various branches of the administration, were entrusted to such persons. He wished to employ them in the higher departments of the Government, replacing the men of mere routine and tradition, with younger and more gifted individuals. But his judgment of character was far from infallible—in fact, he had little insight into human nature, and hence, though sometimes successful in the choice of his servants, he was often deceived by bold and ambitious pretenders. From this defect of perception, he never wholly recovered. He was obliged to make his selection from a comparatively limited number of
persons. In Russia, the administration the throne. Nicholas wished to transis exclusively in the hands of the nobi- form the serfs into owners of homelity, who, in respect of social and offi- steads, on conditions not burdensome to cial position, are divided into fourteen them, or ruinous to the nobility, who classes. As a general rule, each class heretofore had enjoyed absolute possescorresponds with a certain office, which sion of the soil. He issued a ukase on cannot be filled by a person belonging this subject, but its provisions were to a higher or lower class. Promotion never carried into effect. Afterwards, from one step to another in this scale, he proposed to secure the homestead as depends on the length of active service a dependence on the landlord, submitin each class; and accordingly the high- ting the relations between proprietors er offices are bestowed in proportion to and laborers to stringent rules, and age, rather than to capacity. Senility placing every detail under the safeguard is thus made to command a premium. of the law. With this view he published
Nicholas perceived the disastrous a ukase concerning inventories, or the effects of such an organization, and soon labor due from the serf to the proprietor, after his accession to the throne, at- stating the remuneration to be received tempted to make every office dependent by the farmer in arable land, pasturage, on an examination as to character and houses, cattle, and the like; but this ability. But this reform, like many ukase also failed to be put into execuothers, died in embryo. Still, he sub- tion. jected the machinery of State to a par- The principal cause of this apparent tial, and, of course,
somewhat superficial unsteadiness of purpose in Nicholas was re-organization. But on the whole, he a deficiency of intellectual power. He may justly be called a reformer, and, was able to conceive and comprehend indeed, in many respects, is entitled to the general features of any important the name of a creator. He eradicated combination in this respect, he was many evils, or at least changed their superior to all the Russian nobleinen in forms and mitigated their effects. On his councils, as well as to all contemthe other hand,
however, he spread the porary sovereigns—but he had not the seeds of new evils, which, in some cases, capacity to disentangle and master the were no less deleterious in their action details of a project, so as to complete than those which they supplanted. His its practical realization. For this, he intentions, it cannot be denied, were was obliged to depend almost entirely noble and elevated. In judging of their upon his ministers and other official character, we should regard them from functionaries. But they were usually his own point of view. They always opposed to his plans, and would lend no proceeded from deep and conscientious aid to their accomplishment. The narconvictions. He executed many judi- rowness of their mental vision, their cious reforms, while he abandoned others long-cherished prejudices, their dread almost the moment after their concep- of innovation, and their attachment to tion. This vacillation in his policy the ancient, musty routine, forbade them forms one of the most remarkable fea- to sympathize with his purposes, and tures of his reign. Many of his best arrayed them in hostility to his suggesdesigns were frustrated by the cold and tions. No one, not even the most bitter sullen opposition of those by whom he enemy of Nicholas, can call in question was surrounded. His own indecision his good intentions, or deny that he added to the difficulty of execution. In aimed at the highest good of his Em. the beginning of his reign, he proposed pire. He wished to develop the intelto alleviate the censorship of foreign lectual powers of the nation, as well as and domestic publications, and to enlarge to expand its immeasurable resources of the freedom of the press. But in the a material character. But he attempt course of his administration, the cen- ed an impossibility in excluding from sorship became more severe than before. the motive powers, by which he would He was deeply convinced of the para- act on mind and matter, the most inlyzing influence of serfdom upon the spiring principle of human action-the national welfare and development. He love of liberty. In his opinion, Russia sincerely desired its abolition, or at was never to throw off the swaddlingleast, its essential modification. Yet clothes of infancy. He committed serfdom survives him, subject to the numerous blunders—some of them prosame conditions as when he ascended ceeding from his temper, others from the